A consortium led by Acciona has been selected to finance, build, operate and maintain a flood prevention canal of more than 30 miles in length between Fargo (North Dakota) and Moorhead (Minnesota), in the USA. It will serve to divert stormwater and stormwater from the Red River away from population centers, which are regularly affected by flooding. The project, with a planned construction period of five years, will involve an investment of 2,340 million, as reported by the group.
The agreement between the Fargo-Moorhead Metropolitan Flood Diversion Authority and the consortium – established by Acciona, Shikun & Binui and North American Construction Group – includes, in addition to the construction of the canal, all the necessary associated infrastructure such as bridges, rail crossings and aqueducts. In addition, the consortium will operate the project for 29 years through a public-private partnership (PPP) agreement.
The diversion canal is a project designed to mitigate climate change, aimed at tackling the threat of flooding. Once completed, it will protect more than 235,000 people from the main population centers between Fargo and Moorhead, explained the group chaired by José Manuel Entrecanales.
The Fargo-Moorhead flood water diversion project grew out of studies conducted after the historic Red River flood in 1997, which caused an estimated € 3 billion in damage.
The Fargo-Moorhead canal represents a complex engineering work and Aacciona’s entry into the concessions and construction sector in the US, where it is already present in the water and energy markets.
In the water sector, it has built and operates the Tampa Bay (Florida) desalination plant, one of the largest in the country, which supplies water to a total of 2.5 million people, producing 108,000 m3 per day. The plant became operational in 2008 and has received several international awards in the sector.
In addition, it has 1,064 MW of wind power installed in its ten parks in the US, in addition to 64 MW in the thermoelectric solar plant of Nevada Solar One. And last December it announced the start of operation of its largest wind farm in the country, La 198 MW Chalupa in Texas.
Likewise, Acciona announced in 2019 an agreement with the American company Tenaska to acquire a portfolio of photovoltaic projects in the country, distributed in seven states. The portfolio totals 3,000 nominal MW in large photovoltaic plants and also includes 1,000 MW of battery storage. The transaction incorporates 20 projects located in the states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky, Illinois, Kansas, Oklahoma and Missouri. Acciona plans to commission eight projects from that portfolio before the end of 2023, adding some 1,500MW of peak power (about 1,200MW nominal) to its renewable asset pool in the country.
In addition, Acciona recently announced an agreement with Amazon to supply clean energy in the United States. To do this, it will build four new photovoltaic plants in Illinois, Kentucky and Ohio.